Table of Katakana Characters (Kaisho)
Table 5. The Representation of Foreign Sounds with Katakana
This is a simple list of katakana combinations used for representing foreign words. It is not exhaustive but includes most of the common combinations.
(Theoretically, these sounds can all be shown in hiragana and sometimes are, but I've omitted hiragana alternatives from this table).
Since is chi and is tsu, these combinations were created to represent foreign 'ti' and 'tu'
Since is ji and is zu, these were created to represent 'di' and 'du' (e.g., the English verb 'to do').
|tyu||Represents English 'tu' (as in 'tune')|
|dyu||Represents English 'du' (as in 'duke')|
|toa||Used for French 'toi'.|
|moa||Used for French 'moi'.|
|wi||we||wo||Used in English and German syllables starting with 'w'.|
|fa||fi||fe||fo||Used for English and other syllables starting in 'f' or 'ph'.|
|va||vi||vu||ve||vo||Used for syllables starting in 'v'. ( vu can be found in words like ravu ('love').|
|vyu||Used in words like English 'view'. Vya and vyo are possible but seldom encountered.|
|qua||qui||que||quo||Found in words like 'quark', 'quizz', 'quest', 'quartz', etc.|
|swa||swi||swe||swo||Not common, but swi is found in 'switch' and swe in 'Sweden'.|
|tsa||tsi||tse||tso||Found in words like 'Tsar', 'Konzern' (German) and 'canzone' (Italian).|